American chat show host Jay Leno once famously said: “Regulations force people to do better.” Never has this been truer than in the case of the online gambling industry.
Regulation can be a political hot potato. Free marketeers and capitalists advocate a minimum of regulation. At the other end of the spectrum, a more socialised approach; where industry is regulated for a variety of reasons: environmental, health and safety, benchmark performance, and more.
Gambling is a unique business. There is no manufactured product. Just a financial ‘cost and reward’ transaction, based on a random outcome. It can be anything, from the turn of a card, the spin of a wheel, or a last-minute hat-trick from the new signing for Manchester City.
Entertainment, Risk and Reward
Gambling has always been a very popular form of entertainment. It’s been around ever since Caveman A wagered that Caveman B couldn’t wrestle the woolly mammoth to the ground. For most people, it is a bit of harmless fun but it does have its risks.
In the past two years, the UK Gambling Commission has flexed its considerable muscle. In 2020, it imposed fines, totalling more than £44 million, on dozens of different operators; an increase of 175% on the £16 million doled out in 2019.
The specific reasons for all the fines vary from company to company but – in brief – they were failing to look after vulnerable players; a lack of due diligence and a shortage of scrutiny.
Today, online casinos and sportsbooks are committed to delivering the highest levels of diligence and customer care. They have to be. The messaging and marketing can seem counter-intuitive: persuading players to stop when they have had enough? Contrary but absolutely essential.
The good news is: it’s transforming the industry in a positive way.
Harmful play benefits no one. If a customer gets into trouble, the online casino can get sanctioned and the player can suffer. Gambling should be a way to socialise and enjoy some entertainment. Gaming businesses are now proactive in their bid to help potentially problematic players – before they get into trouble.
Casino.com has created its 10 rules of responsible gaming, highlighting potential pitfalls that players should look out for. These include: chasing losses, borrowing money, and spending too much time at the casino. To mitigate these problems, there is a suite of restrictions, limits, and support channels to connect with.
Properly regulated and responsibly managed, both land and online casinos have many positive attributes. To start: UK betting companies generated tax revenues of more than £3 billion on 2019 – 2020. Remote gambling generated almost £1 billion. Globally, according to the Business Research Company, the gambling market is expected to be worth around $565.4 billion by 2022.
In the UK, more than 90,000 people are employed by the gambling business.
What Happens in Vegas…
Worldwide, destinations like Macau, Atlantic City, and Las Vegas have been built on the back of the betting business. Local economies wouldn’t exist without them.
Gambling is a form of entertainment that comes at a cost. You pay to play. If you win, it’s a bonus. As online casinos become more user friendly, with safety checks and oversight, more people might be tempted to try their luck at the tables.
What was once the domain of the card sharp and the experienced player is now a more inclusive experience for anyone looking for something different.
Businesses must move with the times and online gaming is no exception. Without customers, there would be no business. Protecting players is now at the heart of any progressive online casino or sportsbook. Entertainment, fun, and engagement are the goals. Have fun at the casino.